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Musicmomma5

fourth cousin or 2nd cousin twice removed?

Question

Is the great great grandson of my great grandparents my fourth cousin or my 2nd cousin twice removed? His great grandmother and my grandmother were siblings, making my mom and his grandmother first cousins. He and I have been sweethearts off and on since early teens and now are 39/40years old. Legally it's acceptable for us to have a relationship or even marry, but what about the stigma of "dating a cousin"? Are we far enough removed that the stigma would lessen? 

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You have a 7th degree relation with your distant nephew, or he is second cousin once removed. You have only 1.56% of common DNA and the coefficient of inbreeding is 0.78% !! In practice that means that the relation between you two is so weak as if you were two unrelated persons, say two strangers in the street. I don't think that there are legal or religious obstacles stopping a marriage between you, especially if you live in the USA. In my country, Hellas (Greece), few decades ago the 7th degree of relatedness was the threshold for validating a marriage (or not) and in some cases they could accept a marriage between two 2nd cousins. However,  this has changed hopefully since several decades and  it is now the 5th degree the critical limit. Good luck to you!

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not nephew...oh geez. cousin...cousin. I may have thrown up a bit when I read the word nephew, sorry.  Thank you for the explanation. Wouldn't he be twice removed because he is the grandson of my mother's first cousin? Argghh, so confusing. However, it's good to know that there is distance enough genetically speaking. 

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Don't be scared of words! In my mother tongue, you would be described as a distant aunt of him or he as a distant (third) nephew of you. I sketched a family tree in order to identify the degree of your relationship and talking about the hierarchy you are one level up to him. This made me to tell you that he is a distant nephew, though i know that the expression used in english is «Nth cousin removed x times» where N is 1 or 2 or 3 and x is once, twice, or three times. 

You ask «Wouldn't he be twice removed because he is the grandson of my mother's first cousin?»

No. Your mother and his grandma are first cousins, right? So,  you and one of his parents (i think you don't mention which) are second cousins. So, he is second cousin once removed. Am glad that the only big distance between you two is this one of genes!

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